Bump stock owner becomes first person known to be charged since ban
primeimages/iStock(HOUSTON) — A Houston man was indicted on federal charges Thursday for allegedly possessing a bump stock, marking the first known case in the country since the Trump administration banned the devices earlier this year.
Ajay Dhingra, 43, was indicted on four counts of firearms violations after officers found a rifle with an installed bump stock, which can make a semi-automatic weapon fire rapidly like a machine gun, according to the Department of Justice.
Authorities caught up with Dhingra after he allegedly left a “concerning message” with the George Bush Foundation, according to the DOJ. A Secret Service investigation led authorities to the man’s home, where they found 277 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, a Glock pistol and a Colt rifle with a bump stock attached.
Investigators later discovered that Dhingra had previously been committed to a mental institution and is prohibited by federal law of possessing a firearm or ammunition, the DOJ said in a statement.
“The four-count indictment, returned yesterday, alleges Ajay Dhingra possessed a machine gun, made two materially false statements in the acquisition of two firearms and unlawfully possessed a firearm after having been adjudicated as a mental defective or who had been committed to a mental institution,” the statement said.
The case is believed to be the first involving illegal possession of bump stocks since the law was implemented in March 2019.
Bump stocks were banned amid national outcry after a gunman used the device to carry out a mass shooting at an October 2017 music festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds more.
Dhingra is scheduled to appear for arraignment on Sept. 12.
He could face up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted as charged.
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